Statement of Juana Sierra Trejo
Name: Juana Sierra Trejo
My name is Juana Sierra Trejo. I am an 18-year-old Latina woman from Mexico who resides in the Bronx, New York. I was only 16 years old when I began my employment as a housekeeper at the Broadway Plaza Hotel in 2002. I worked at the hotel for about 19 months during which time I endured aggressive sexual harassment, verbal abuse and threats of violence.
Felix David Buendia Ramirez, the hotel manager and my supervisor, sexually harassed me. He grabbed my head and caressed my face on a regular basis and attempted to touch my breasts. Mr. Ramirez asked me to go out to dinner with him a few times and I always refused. He punished me for refusing him by giving me more rooms to clean without additional pay.
Mr. Ramirez also subjected me to severe verbal abuse. He yelled at me and the other housekeepers on a daily basis. Mr. Ramirez called the housekeepers ""whores"" and said that we were nothings; we were not valued as human beings. He also threatened me and the other housekeepers regularly. Mr. Ramirez said that if I or other housekeepers told anybody about his treatment of us, he could have us deported or killed.
Although I was told by Mr. Ramirez before I was hired that my duties would entail cleaning 15 rooms per day, six days a week for eight hours, this was not the case. I worked seven days a week and sometimes up to fifteen hours per day without ever receiving overtime. I was not permitted to eat any food, drink any water or use the restroom while at the hotel.
After my shift at the hotel ended, Mr. Ramirez forced me to go home with him and clean his house at least two to three times a week. I was never paid to do this work.
During my employment, I became very frightened of Mr. Ramirez. Because of his sexual harassment, threats and constant yelling, I was often nervous and sick. In the end, I stopped working at the hotel because I was scared, ill and tired.